North, South Korea hold rare talks

SEOUL - North and South Korean officials were to sit down Thursday for rare talks aimed at paving the way for a sustainable high-level dialogue that has constantly eluded the two rivals.

US 'concerns' over Russian missile system

WASHINGTON - Russia's decision to deploy its most hi-tech air defense system to its base in Syria is raising ''significant concerns'' for the US military, a US official said Wednesday.

US has urged legal reforms abroad to block Islamic State recruits

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Justice Department has provided specific suggestions to governments in Europe and elsewhere on how to strengthen counterterrorism laws in order to arrest would-be foreign fighters before they join groups like Islamic State, according to a policy paper reviewed by Reuters.

Obama signs US defense bill into law -White House

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama signed a sweeping defense policy bill into law on Wednesday, legislation that authorizes USD607 billion in defense spending but also includes provisions that make it harder to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

UN haggles over race for Ban's successor

UNITED NATIONS - Britain is pushing the United Nations to kick off the search for the next secretary-general in earnest, giving candidates until spring to enter the race to be the world's top diplomat.

Obama says US is safe as millions set off on Thanksgiving travel

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they were safe as millions of travelers set off for the long Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday and authorities stepped up security at airports in response to the attacks in Paris two weeks ago.

China blasts Philippines' territorial row arbitration case

China on Wednesday harshly criticized the Philippines' case against it at an arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea, calling the process a "political provocation."

Japan, U.S. agree to continue drills in disputed sea

Japan's defense chief and a top U.S. commander agreed Tuesday to continue conducting joint drills between the U.S. military and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as helping Southeast Asian countries increase their capabilities.

Chinese media says birth discrimination must end

BEIJING - Chinese state-run media called Wednesday for children born outside the country's one-child policy to be given crucial household registration documents, an issue that has left as many as 13 million in legal limbo.

NATO says backs Turkey over Russian plane

BRUSSELS - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg offered support for Ankara on Tuesday after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border and rejected any suggestion that the incident happened outside of Turkey's borders.